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Microsoft Promises

© July 2006 Anthony Lawrence

My father-in-law is in a nursing home. He's the victim of strokes that have left him wheelchair bound and mostly aphasic.

Every nursing home posts a Patients Rights list. Many of these rights are Federally mandated and include such obvious things as being free from abuse, but also cover more mundane details such as being able to make unsupervised phone calls, and the right to make personal decisions such as when to go to bed and what clothing to wear.

At some nursing homes you'll also find joke notices supposedly from management - the kind of thing that says "Employees are required to give 24 hours advance notice of their own death", and so on.

Unfortunately the staff at some homes see both notices as equally amusing.

In our world, Microsoft has recently announced "Twelve Tenets to Promote Competition". It is designed to serve the same purpose as posting patient rights in nursing homes: these are the new rules for business as usual at Microsoft. No more punishing of vendors who dare offer competing operating systems, no more secret API's and so on. Like the notices in nursing homes, each of the items is there for a reason: nursing homes have abused patients in ways both petty and beyond belief, and Microsoft has consistently demonstrated an equal lack of morality in the business arena.

No doubt Microsoft has joke notices on its bulletin boards too : "You don't have to be amoral to work here, but it helps" might hit too uncomfortably close to home, but perhaps slightly less acerbic humor would be acceptable. Maybe an anonymous scrawl in what is said to look like Bill's own hand at the bottom of the "Twelve Tenets":

Those were the good old days, weren't they, boys?

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Fri Jul 21 12:59:15 2006: 2273   TonyLawrence

Or perhaps a well drawn cartoon of Bill and Steve standing in front of the Tenets, arms across each other's shoulders, and tears streaming down their faces?

Or perhaps the same cartoon but this time they are laughing and clapping each other on the back?

Pardon my cynicism..

Fri Jul 21 14:51:53 2006: 2275   BigDumbDinosaur

It has been often said that old habits die hard (they do around here: I still use greenbar paper). I fail to see why Microsoft should be any different. Gates and his lackeys made their billions by f**king over customers and competitors alike. In fact, even Uncle Sam hasn't been immune. In 2002, the Department of Justice told Microsoft to provide copies of documents related to the penalty phase of the anti-trust suit (remember that?). Four years later, no documents are forthcoming. Does that sound like a reformed company to you?


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